Manchester will be celebrating Chinese New Year in style once again this year, with the return of the Dragon Parade. The festivities will take place on Sunday 22 January, which marks the start of the Year of the Rabbit according to the Chinese lunar calendar. A whole day of events has been planned for the occasion, kicking off with the parade at 12pm. This will be the first full parade in three years, having been scaled-down in previous years due to the pandemic.
The procession will follow a new route this year, starting at Manchester Central, before making its journey via Mount Street - Peter Street - Oxford Street - Portland Street - Princess Street and Faulkner Street to Chinatown. A 175m Chinese dragon will be leading the way, followed by traditional lion and ribbon dancers, Chinese Opera performers, 12 Zodiac animals and Ancient Army characters.
Between 12pm and 7pm, there will be Chinese street food stalls, traditional arts and crafts and live stage performances taking place in Chinatown, as well as two special illuminated night dragon performances at 5pm and 6pm.
Chinese food stalls will also be taking up a week-long residency in Piccadilly Gardens, ending on Sunday 29 January with one final performance from the illuminated dragon at 5pm. As always, the streets of Manchester will also be decorated with thousands of red Chinese lanterns in the run up to the big day.
Stan Chow, a Manchester-based graphic artist known for his portraits of local icons, has designed special images for the event, as he has done in previous years. The celebrations are organised by the Federation of Chinese Associations of Manchester (FCAM) in partnership with Manchester Business Improvement District and Manchester City Council.
Manchester Road closures – Sunday 22 January
There will be road closures both along the Chinese New Year parade route and around the Chinatown car park and streets on Sunday 22 January. Timings are subject to change, but the following roads will be affected:
Parade route road closures 11am – 3pm
Windmill Street (Lower Mosley Street – Watson Street)
Mount Street (Windmill Street – Alberts Square)
Peter Street (Watson to Oxford Street)
Oxford Street (Peter Street to Chepstow Street)
Oxford Road (Oxford Street to Whitworth Street)
Portland Street (Chepstow Street to Chorlton Street)
Princess Street (Portland Street to Cooper Street).
China Town road closures 6am – 10pm
Faulkner Street (Princess Street to New York Street)
Reyner Street (Princess Street to Charlotte Street)
St James’ Street (Princess Street to Charlotte Street)
Charlotte Street (Portland Street to Mosley Street)
George Street (Dickenson Street to New York Street)
Chain Street (George Street to Faulkner Street)
Back George Street (Dickenson Street to Charlotte Street)
Nicholas Street (Portland Street to Mosley Street)
Pine Street (Chain Street to New York Street)
Parking and public transport
Parking suspensions will be in operation from 9pm on Saturday 21 January 2023.
Metrolink services will not be suspended on the day, however it is expected to be very busy so it is advisable to plan your journeys in advance. St Peter’s Square in particular is likely to become congested at around 12pm-1pm. The Dragon Parade is expected to cross the tracks in this area at around 12:30-40 pm.